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Do I have any grounds to get a deposit back from a dog breeder?

Asked by user in Alaska.

The contract states that the deposit is non-refundable, but we received no updates through the pregnancy and a few days after the dog was due the breeder has stated it was a phantom pregnancy. Is there something we can do? Is it even worth it considering the deposit was only $650?

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

I’m sorry this is happening to you.

Generally speaking, a non-refundable deposit only protects the seller if the buyer fails to complete the sale. A non-refundable deposit isn’t valid if the seller fails to complete the sale.

Because the amount at issue is only $650, it probably doesn’t make financial sense to get a lawyer involved. Your best option is to work out an agreement with the seller. If this doesn’t work, I would recommend taking the seller to small claims court. In Alaska, you can file a claim in small claims court so long as the amount you’re seeking is less than $10,000.

The courts in Alaska publish a helpful small claims handbook to help you through this process.

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